1. Happy Victory Monday, y'all! We just got 25% of last season's win total. I love wins, and I love the feeling of walking out the front door of FedEx with a victory in my pocket. We don't need to even bring up that the Dallas Cowboys are without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for the next two months or so in order to enjoy this win. We don't need to bring up how inept Chip Kelly's offense looked at home in Philadelphia yesterday for us to feel good about ourselves. We don't need to dwell on the catastrophic beginning to the New York Giants' season for us to relish the spot in which we find ourselves. We have everything we need in terms of things to both celebrate and be concerned about in our Redskins. I find it much easier than ever before to embrace what the last four sentences are all about. Think about it: how many times over the last decade or so have we spent more time considering what our opponents are dealing with than our own squad? That is to say, we have generally calculated our chances of winning on any given Sunday based on those reasons why our opponent might lose. What I love about this team, and what was driven home in a major way yesterday, is that we are going to do OUR thing. More on that below.
2. I love that we're 1-1, and not 2-0. We are not a 2-0 team--we are imperfect. At 2-0, we would think things that aren't true. At 2-0, we would see things that aren't there. This Redskins team isn't going to lead the pack through a 16-game campaign, nor would I want them to. We can't handle that--I can't stress this enough. At 1-1, we are dangerous. Already after only two games, we have served as our own worst enemy and we have also been the best version of ourselves. Perfection--at least in the win column--is not something on which a team like ours can divert attention. The Miami Dolphins game was winnable, yes, but it isn't like they executed a Hail Mary at the final buzzer to beat us. We committed ELEVEN penalties!! We gave up a punt return touchdown. We stumbled a bit on the game management side of things. We earned that loss. Thankfully, that loss serves to keep us fans grounded somewhat, and should allow us all to worry about things that matter and not unattainable goals. (To be clear, I am referring to perfection as an unattainable goal, not the playoffs. The Redskins will make the playoffs.)
3. We talk about winning the game at the line of scrimmage, and we talk about the history and tradition of this team, and then...wow. The Redskins won this game up front. Our offensive line dominated the St. Louis Rams' defensive line, and that was something most experts would not have ever predicted. Our defensive line stuffed their offensive line all day. If you truly care about the game of football, there is no way you could watch that game yesterday and not feel some kind of guttural reaction. Big bank take little bank. It was a thing of beauty.
4. After watching that game, it is clear that we have dedicated ourselves to a certain style of play. We have decided who we are, and we have decided we are going to be who we are...no matter what. And you know what...they STILL couldn't stop us. It reminds me of...it reminds me of a way we have played before. It reminds me of a SUCCESSFUL brand of football. What you saw yesterday is recognizable to many Redskins fans who grew up watching this team win behind a great offensive line. We aren't there yet in terms of The Hogs versus this current group up front, but for roughly three out of four halves this season, we have seen our current guys dictate the game to the other team. The Rams boast a hell of a lot of talent on their defense. The Dolphins are no slouches up front on defense. Our success thus far on the ground is as satisfying as it is shocking. We have TWO top ten rushers in the league. Combine that with two reasonably competent performances on defense (so close to being straight-up dominant there too), and you can see why this team could lay claim to at least a few more wins nobody would otherwise give them.
5. I wanted to point out--for fairness--that FedEx Field was a bit more fun that it has been in recent years. You guys have heard Kevin and I rail against the team for making terrible decisions that negatively impact the fan experience on the inside. Having the band down low again is huge--even if it is driven by the fact they closed the section where the band used to sit. The band played music all day long. You would think this wouldn't be a development...but it is, and it was great. Here is an example of a cool move by the team that also played into the flow of the game: the Redskins honored the military by staging one of those must-see family reunions between a wife and daughter and their hero Army dad. The crowd went nuts, as you would expect. The kind of undercover benefit was that the Redskins were just about to go on defense, so the crowd was kind of pre-worked into a frenzy that carried forward into the game. It's a small thing that I have seen this organization screw up time and time again. A famous example of previous errors was once when the crowd got worked into a frenzy a couple years back against the Lions, just before Matthew Stafford went to work against our defense from inside his own 5-yard line. We were yelling and screaming and getting fired up and then they played an Empire Flooring commercial. People just kind of sat down and I believe the Lions snapped the ball in relative silence. Little things...they go a long way and they are noticed. Great job, Redskins stadium people! To those individuals, do yourselves a favor and put some microphones on the drummers in the end zone when they come down and do their percussion bit. Please keep up the good work.
6. Because of the action on the field yesterday around the league, I think it is fair to suspect that the Redskins are fielding at least a call or two for Robert Griffin III today. I have already gone at it with my friends a bit about this, mostly because it is perceived that I am fixated on the Griffin side of this discussion. Far from it. This is all about McLovin' and his ongoing mission to clean this mess up. Handling matters concerning players currently on the roster in a way that makes a positive impact on the team is what good front offices do. This is not about taking our garbage to the curb (sorry Stack!). This is about doing everything in our power to get some value back onto this team. Griffin is capable of returning at least something to us, and his price tag goes up if only two teams express interest. I'm not greedy. Maybe McLovin' has his eyes on a practice squad linebacker or tight end somewhere. Maybe he sees the kind of depth in next year's draft at a certain position that makes him comfortable netting whatever the best draft pick he is offered. Regardless, this matter is still open. I think it has already been a real success story because Griffin has not been a distraction at all the last two weeks. What would really drive home the competency of our new front office would be a nice, sound football decision on where to send him next. I think Griffin would have to tear up his fifth-year option stuff, and I think it is fair to ask, "Why the hell would he ever do that?" If he wants to play in 2015 somewhere, he will likely have to do that. If he wants to wear sweats on our sideline here all year, I think he can accomplish that by refusing to restructure his contract. At this point, he could still go somewhere and have an impact on this season. Also, if you think I wouldn't trade Griffin to Dallas, you are wrong. That said, the "Jerry Jones price" is much higher than the price I am quoting to either Houston or Chicago. I am not afraid to play against Griffin. I am not afraid of how and where our former players play--that is soooooo Cerrato-era. I am concerned about whomever suits up for us on Sundays. Much like our offense, I am focused on doing us. As long as we do us, we will keep taking giant leaps forward.